Ilomilo is a game that I would usually not review seeing as I played this game on a mobile device but as I played through this game I was swept away by the charm and relaxing but at times challenging puzzles. Microsoft has entered the mobile market and Ilomilo is a game to showcase what they have in store for us. Don’t fret though, Ilomilo is available on both Xbox Live Arcade and Windows Phones so even if you don’t have a Windows Phone and you want to try this game out you can hop on your Xbox 360 and play this game. With that said though how did Microsoft fair in the Mobile gaming market? Well let’s find out.
With a lot of games you will see an action packed hero who is brave, heroic, and special in some kind of way defeating every obstacle ahead of him/her self. In the story of Ilomilo the main characters are nothing more than simple friends trying to find each other so they can enjoy tea together. Ilomilo is told like you would read it out of a children’s story book. It is a charming approach to this charming little game. You don’t kill enemies or face the entire world, no, you just want to make your way through each puzzle so you can meet up with your friend. When the two friend Ilona (Ilo) and Milton (Milo) meet up they dance as they find one another. This is actually how you beat a level, you simply need to find away to each other to complete the puzzle. This task is much tougher than what it sounds though as I will get to in just one moment. Even though Ilo and Milo find each other they seem to have trouble keeping up with each other because by the next day they are lost again and trying to find one another once more. The whole story isn’t something that is amazing but it is charming and cute none the less.
Now the gameplay is the real draw to this game. There is different worlds with 9-10 levels each in Ilomilo with different settings and music for each. They slowly ease you into the more difficult ones and they can be difficult at times. In all honesty I haven’t played a puzzle game like this that made me feel rewarded when I finished certain puzzles since Portal. Yes I just compared it to portal. Not that it is anything like Portal but the puzzles can be brilliant at times. See tha gameplay works like this. You can only walk on the cubes pressing forward, back, left, and right. You can not jump or climb down to cubes below or above you. Try thinking Mario Galaxy in this situation. You are on cubes that are 4 dimensional so some cubes that has a red arrow on them will allow you to walk to the other dimension of the cube. Because of this getting on the same platform as your partner can be difficult at times but rewarding. Also I need to mention that you control both characters. By the touch of a button you will navigate between the two who will each need to complete there own tasks so they can reach one another. The environment has it’s own strict rules so you will definitely need both characters to complete a puzzle. You can pick up special cubes that will allow you to place them somewhere. The two main cubes that you can interact with is a single cube that you can place which will cover up small gaps or a cube that can work like a draw bridge. The thing I found really cool was reaching these devices to the other character where they get stuck so they can use the item to help the other one. For example let’s say that Ilo needs the extension bridge but doesn’t have one available. Well Milo has the extension bridge so he will go to a cube and place it down where it will draw up so Ilo can then pick it up. It is a clever strategy in a clever game. There is also other active cubes like springs that springs you over gaps, monsters that block your way, apples, and pigs that walk across the tiles. Each one of these creates brilliant puzzles using different strategies and approaches. The other thing that you will be doing is trying to collect both miniature cubes (like coins in mario) and 3 miniature ilomilos in each level. This also can add it’s own amount of difficult trying to complete these tasks. There is also leaderboards if you are more competitive. It is based off of the fewest steps taken. Nothing to special or anything.
Lastly the music and artstyle. There was a reason I bought this game and it is because the artstyle just popped out to me. It some how looked different than other mobile games and it most certainly was. This is the first mobile game that I have enjoyed besides Angry Birds and even then I didn’t care much for Angry Birds. The music is also charming and wonderful but there is a small downside to the music. Once the song repeats on a level your game will skip for a moment. Besides that this game didn’t really have any problems.
Overall the game is charming and a great puzzle game. This was a great game for Microsoft to start things off with in the mobile market. It didn’t have an amazing story but the gameplay does make up for that. It looks cute on the surface but can be frustrating at times with some of the more difficult puzzles but for $4.99 I’d say it is easily worth it for hours of entertaining puzzles.
Story – 7.0
Gameplay – 8.5
Music – 8.0
Artstyle – 8.5
Overall – 8.0